Nokia is at it Again Misleading Consumers

Remember last year when Nokia released the Lumia 920 and they just wouldn’t shut up about the new PureView camera? They even put out a video to show off how good it was at optical image stabilization and wow, was it good!

Oh yeah, it was also faked. If you look closely at 27 seconds in, not only is this video being shot from a box van driving next to the girl, shot by someone else from a bicycle, as it implies, it is also being shot with a full DSLR video rig. Turns out the Nokia Lumia 920 video was actually shot with a DSLR, not with the PureView camera with optical image stabilization (OIS). Continue reading

How I Really Feel about Instagram

I am known in my circle of friends as the guy who hates Instagram. This isn’t really true, I don’t hate Instagram, I philosophically loathe it. That is to say, I don’t enjoy the way many people on Instagram treat the art of photography.

When I talk about Instagram I am often met with a rebuttal as strong as those over religion or politics. In the end we are all entitled to our beliefs. I have a feeling that a similar post as this was written by many film photographers when the first digital SLRs started hitting the market.

justex07-on-InstagramI’ll keep this brief but here is my gripe. People take ordinary photos, what we would call snapshots, what we would drop in a shoebox and forget about as quickly as we took them. These photos do not stand out like the ones we would put in a physical album, that we would pay to have printed or that we would submit to a gallery for showing. They are the epitome of disposable photography and there is nothing wrong with that.

What I have qualms with are people that elevate these toss-away photos to a level of importance not by context or content but by obscuring the banality and ordinary mundanity of the photo with a filter, sometimes to such a degree that the original content of the image is totally obfuscated. That is not art, that is glorified censorship. Continue reading

Tokyo in Beautiful Slow Motion

I’m a total sucker for videos like this. Using some sort of high speed video camera, Alex Lee shot more or less ordinary shots of Tokyo. Then, he slowed down the playback from high speed to a standard 24 or 30 frames per second. Some of these cameras can shoot over a million frames per second! The recently release RED Epic camera shoots at 120fps.

Most people think that to shoot a video like that, you shoot in slow motion but you actually do the opposite. It’s part of why people are so intrigued with what they are seeing. You hear “I shot this bullet at 30,000fps,” and you think you’re going to see a speeding bullet. Well you are, only you’re going to see it at 1/1000th the speed it actually traveled. Super cool.

The video is beautiful and yet really simple. The mixing of the different video speeds with the music is spot on. I am not sure what I think about the video effects just yet, whether they add or subtract from the already good video. If you wanted to know what GenArts Sapphire Edge can do, those effects above could easily be accomplished with that plugin.

The Most Amazing Time-lapse Video

This has got to be the most amazing time-lapse video I have ever seen. Not just because of the beautiful landscapes the camera is capturing but the way it is captured. Hats off to the guys at T-Recs.

Down below I’ll just guessing here on how the hell they did it. Meanwhile, take a look and share your theories in the comments. I’m thinking a little HDR magic is going on too.

So the sky shots must have been done on some sort of tower or a weather balloon with a stabilization and constellation tracking system. That’s pretty much the only thing that I can think of capable of making those shots so steady and so stunning.

The city shots have to have been done with a huge rolling crane on a track. Some of the shots are pretty basic but others change on both an X and Y plane. Tricky stuff! Especially in the middle of a city.

Finally, polarizing lenses to help make the sky dramatic and obviously a little HDR going on here. HDR = High Dynamic Range photography. They might be shooting with an awesome sensor in raw (Nikon D3X/S, Canon 5DMKII or maybe even a Red sensor) and composing a tone mapped image by post processing three exposures from a single shot. Alternately they could be shooting three or more shots right after the other and doing a standard tone map.

Either way, it’s the first time that I’ve seen HDR video look good and certainly the first time I’ve seen an HDR time-lapse video this awesome. I cannot wait to go through their other works.

Do you agree with me or am I way off base? Continue reading

Hasselblad acquired by Ventizz Capital Fund

Hasselblad, the venerable digital and film, medium format cameramaker has been acquired by Swiss/German capital fund.The press release states that this will allow them to explore more markets and expand the brand. Let’s hope this means I’ll be able to buy one of their amazing cameras for somewhere under $10,000. Not that I have that sort of money for a camera but dare to dream right? It’s a lot better than paying the $30,000-40,000 they currently cost.

Camera-nerd Love

When I first saw this video, I swear I was drooling all over my MacBook Pro. And if you know me, the drooling was over the camera, not the two models unboxing it, though you don’t have to be a camera nerd to feel the same way.

The Leica S2 is a 37.5 megapixel camera of absolute stunning engineering.  If I had an extra $27,000 laying around, I’d probably be all over this.  Of course, add another $10,000 or so for the appropriate lenses.  Yikes.

Of course, there is always the newly released Hasselblad H4D, a 40 megapixel medium format camera that I am also lusting over.  It’s basically my dream come true.  Well, if it also shot full HD video.  But heck, this is close enough for me right now.

If anyone reading this blog feel so inclined to purchase either of these for me, I promise a lifetime of love, thanks and praise.  Everyone has their price, for me, apparently, it’s either of these cameras and paired lenses.  Here’s your chance!

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Adorama Continues to Impress

I wrote a few weeks back that “Adorama Makes Amazing Photo Books” and they really do.  But what might be better than their books is their customer service.  I remarked in my review that some of my prints came out with a pink hue to them.  @AdoramaPix read the blog post and quickly started their own investigation to the problem and found the solution.

Today I was surprised with a package at my front door.  Inside was my new photo book and the prints are absolutely brilliant.  The colors are spot on, no pink hue whatsoever.  So here is a thanks to Adorama for taking it on themselves to fix this problem.  The new book looks great, I can’t wait to show it my fellow photo students!

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